My First 100 Mile Race

September 8, 2008

RACE UPDATE: Oh my God, I did it!

Superior Sawtooth 100 Race Report – Be prepared for a story.


The Background Behind the Race

Superior Hiking TrailI signed up for my first 100 mile trail race, the Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile, along the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota. I simply couldn’t hold back any longer. One hundred miles is my dream race and all it took was a little motivation from some others in the sport, and I committed.

Here is the course description from the race web site:

The Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile Trail Run is a point-to-point, 100% trail run, starting at the Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors’ Center, and finishing near Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen. Runners will have access to fourteen aid stations between the start and finish, and will never go more than 10 miles without an opportunity for aid. More than 99% of the course is on the Superior Hiking Trail.

I am so excited, I can barely sleep at night.

Superior Hiking TrailThese are all the elements of a trail race that I love so much. I love gnarly and difficult and this race has a reputation for being one tough race with lots and lots of technical trail to negotiate over the entire hundred miles.

One hundred miles. I can’t believe I am gonna give it a shot – But I am.

Why I am choosing Superior Sawtooth 100 Mile

When something just feels right, you know it. I chose this race for many reasons, all of which seemed to fit perfectly into my ultra infatuation.

So there it is. My first 100 miler will commence on September 5, 2008

Wish me luck.

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Came across this blog via looking for 405 info.

I am so excited for you. It sounds as though you have a lot going for you – experience and fitness. You can do this!

Good Luck!


The Sawtooth 100 is indeed a challenge, one I’ve termed as
“The most Rugged 100 mile ultra in the Country.”
The name says it all as it is a race of relentless peaks. . . not necessarily the highest mountains ever, but continuous.

Then, in a state named after 10,000 lakes, each mile seems to be filled with 10,000 roots. Maybe, though, I’m just expert at finding them all . . . .

Be sure to visit The Upper Midwest Trail Runners web site
( and its internet resources for blogs about all of the Superior races including the 50 mile and Moose Mountain Marathon.

The night can be ultra dark as Longfellow first wrote about these woods many years in his famous “Hiawatha’s Song.”
Gitchee Gumee finds many ways to keep us from finishing.
Trustfully we will all endure.

Congratulations on making this your first visit to Minnesota. As a Tennesseean who moved here a quarter of a century ago, I hoped like hamburger in a refrigerator I would preserve better in the cold that inhabits here. I think what has really happened is something different; regardless, having the Superior Hiking Trail in the vicinity makes up for not having access to the Appalachin Trail.

Best on the Trail,
Phillip Gary Smith
author, “Ultra Superior” the book

Sounds incredible – I’m just relaxing before my first 50 mile run tomorrow. I can’t wait. Enjoying the site.

Scott – Man, you said a lot in that couple o’ sentences.

I look forward to the journey as well. There must be something about that place, and those trails, because of the small number of runners that I have spoken to who have completed it, every one of them seems to be magically awe-struck but the experience.

Naturally, this makes the attempt very exciting for me.

Thanks for writing.

I am sure you will enjoy what the Sawtooth Trail 103 mile ultra run. I have earned some unbelievable experience at this event. I am looking forward to see what the Superior Trail will offer you.

See you at the starting line! No one thinks there are mountains in Minnesota, but wait until you see the course – 20000 feet of climb makes it one of the toughest. Expect to cross a partially-submerged beaver dam in the middle of the night and fall a few times over tree roots.

Way to go Christian! You will love your first 100 miler it will be with you forever. Sherpa John and myself would like to invite you to join us on the Team Sherpa Ultra running team. Email me at Jeff

Rick – Wow! What’s up?

Of course I’d love to catch-up with you. I often wonder if you have been addicted to the sport like me. When I met you, that was my second ultra (50K) and since then I have run a few more and become more and more addicted.

I love me some trails, bro.

email me at: surftrip [at] gmail [dot] com

Let’s bust up some Kennesaw. I was there Sunday …me and my training buddy love that Burnt Hickory to Cheatham Hill to Kolbs Farm loop. Adding the West trail in the beginning and end gives us a little over 10 miles. {we think}

Hit me up bro – great hearing’ from ya.


I ran with you the last part of last year’s Sweetwater H20 and it looks like you are running it again this year. Was wandering what your goal time is and if you wanted to run it together. I live near Kennesaw Mtn so would like to run some trails with you just to catch up also. Great web site. You are quite a motivation.


congrats… personally, once i actually sign up for the run it makes it much more real… and myself much more motivated to train!

i look forward to following your path to the run!


Gotta be a good feeling – with that attitude, you can accomplish anything!


“wow” is right – I am still sorta shocked myself – but I want to do it and more importantly, I believe I can do it.

I am very excited to try.

WOW.. Good luck to you! I’m sure you’ll prevail..

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